Equipment like coffee machines, hot water heaters, boilers and other commercial and industrial equipment that use hot water eventually shows a build-up on the parts. This residue is the deposition of the salts and minerals in the water on the surfaces.
If not removed, this scale can become quite thick and affect the performance of the equipment The heat will not transfer efficiently from one area to another and holes and pipes will start to get blocked. Stripping down the scale, especially on smaller parts and in internal areas can be accomplished quite efficiently with vibratory tumbling.
|Hard Water Scale Removal|
Tumbling the parts with the proper media and compound can make a huge difference. Common sense would be to use as abrasive a media as possible to strip off the scale. But this is not always to best way.
The part on the left was tumbled with an abrasive Ceramic Media and a general purpose tumbling compound. This is a traditional deburring process and did knock-off some of scale (see oblong area in the middle of the part). The bulk of the residue wasn’t touched and if the part was left too long in this type of process, the threads, edges, holes, etc on the part may have been worn down so that the part was out of tolerance.
The part on the right (which looked the same as the one on the left before tumbling), was tumbled with a polishing Ceramic Media. While this was a much less abrasive process, the appropriate compound, Kramco 1030 Mild Acid Cleaner, was used to soften, dissolve and then remove the scale. Because this was a polishing media, the part came out bright and clean with no wear on critical areas of the part.